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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Road-Trip From Memphis to New Orleans


2. Where to Eat

From left, Café du Monde in the French Quarter; a helping of ribs from Memphis's Rendezvous.  

Of all the barbecue joints in Memphis, Rendezvous, just a few blocks from the Madison, has the best dry rub. Tango & Murf’s (4707 Austin Peay Hwy.; 901-388-0498), housed in a former convenience store eight miles northeast of downtown, serves up apple-smoked ribs, pulled pork, and brisket with a side of NASCAR (projected prominently on a side wall). And for dinner, don’t miss Felicia Suzanne’s, where Emeril protégé Felicia Willett serves down-home dishes like Wild Gulf shrimp and Andouille sausage served over a stone-ground grit cake.

Even if you don’t stay at the Monmouth Plantation in Natchez, make reservations for one of the formal five-course dinners with a daily changing menu that might include seafood gumbo, fresh Louisiana redfish, or a thick filet. On your way out of town, stop at the Donut Shop (501 John R. Junkin Dr.; 601-442-2317), a drive-through serving Big Poppa’s hot tamales—wrapped in corn husks, aluminum foil, and newspaper—by the half-dozen or dozen, and killer glazed doughnuts.

Good news for Nawlins foodies: Most local restaurants have reopened, and new entrants are finally starting to trickle in. Start your day with hot beignets and a café au lait from Café du Monde in the French Quarter. For lunch, it’s R&O’s (216 Metairie Hammond Hwy.; 504-831-1248) on Lake Pontchartrain—order a plate of crawfish (heads and all) and fried-oyster po’boys. Local chef-celeb John Besh’s new brasserie, Lüke, serves up platters of fresh mussels, clams, shrimp, and oysters, and an extensive selection of Belgian, French, and German beers.

Published on Apr 25, 2007 as a web exclusive.

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